Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Birthday!

Birthday Wish

It’s your birthday time again;
It’s true; there’s no denying,
Another year has come and gone;
You know that I’m not lying.

So for you, the birthday person,
Here’s what I want to say:
I hope this birthday’s the best one yet,
In every delightful way.

So happy birthday to you.
Have lots of birthday fun!
May your birthday wishes all come true,
Even if you have a ton.

By Karl Fuchs

Happy Birthday and Happy Halloween to my husband!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Salmon with Lentils and a Mustard- Herb Butter Sauce

I don't cook with lentils very often but after reading about them I think I am going to have to add them to my repitoire more often. Did you know that lentils are low calorie, low in fat, low in cholesterol and inexpensive? WOW! that is one healthy, little vegetable that should show up on our dinner plates more often. To help you with that here is a great recipe that includes lentils.

Salmon with Lentils and a Mustard-Herb Butter Sauce

For mustard-herb butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For lentils
1 cup French green lentils
4 cups water
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For salmon
4 (6-ounce) pieces skinless salmon fillet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

I thought this recipe was excellent. I did add a little extra lemon juice but other than that I loved it!

Salmon with Lentils

Amicalola Falls

This weekend my husband and I made a trip to Amicalola Falls. It is the right time, in GA, to head to the mountains to see the changing of the leaves in all those glorious Fall colors. Amicalola State Park is also know for its beautiful waterfall. If your willing to hike up a few hundred stairs you will get a look at one of the tallest, cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi.

The park offers many fun activities for both adults and children such as boating, fishing, hiking and camping.

Right near the park is Burt's Farm ~ one of the largest Pumpkin Farms~ I have ever seen. The pumpkins range is size from 1 pound to 150 pounds! You can go on a hayride, sit apple cider and eat fresh pumpkin bread. It is quite an experience.

Check out Dawsonville, Georgia this Fall!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pepita Crusted Chicken with Mexican Corn Cakes

In the mood for something a little different? If so, then this is the dish for you!
It is a very good dish with unique flavors.

Pepita Crusted Chicken with Mexican Corn Cakes
from the Food Network
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup finely ground pepitas
1/4 cup panko crumbs
For the corn cakes:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup corn from 1 ear, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
For the mango sauce:
1 cup diced mango
1 tablespoon finely diced white onion
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons half-and-half
Queso fresco, for serving

For chicken:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pound chicken breasts into 1/4-inch thickness. Place the eggs into a dish. The next dish mix flour, salt and pepper. In a third dish place pepitas and panko. Dip chicken into the eggs and then the flour mixture, back to the eggs and then into the pepita/panko mix to coat. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place chicken on top. Bake for about 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

For corn cakes:
In food processor mix 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half, 3 tablespoons melted butter, egg yolk and half the corn until smooth. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add remaining corn, onion, cilantro and jalapeno and set aside. In a separate bowl mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently mix. In a small bowl whisk egg white until slightly stiff peaks form. Fold whisked egg into other ingredients. In a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, place 2 tablespoons oil. Drop batter by tablespoons into hot skillet making 8 cakes. Cook approximately 1 minute on each side or until browned.

For mango sauce:
In a food processor place the mango, white onion, cilantro, sugar, jalapeno and salt and process until smooth. Add chicken broth and place in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until bubbles form. Reduce heat to low and stir in half-and-half.

To Serve:
Place 1 chicken breast and 2 corn cakes on each plate. Drizzle with mango sauce and garnish with crumbled queso fresco.

What a fun meal!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes with Caramel Sauce




For the Chocolate Pudding Cakes:

6tbs(3/4 stick)cold butter, cubbed, plus a little more (room temperature) for the ramekins
1/3 cup sugar plus a little more for the ramekins
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all- purposed flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 6 oz ramekins, then coat lightly with suggar tapping out the excess.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate.
Microwave until melted about one minute.
Stir this mixture until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, egg yolks, four and salt
Add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.
Fill each ramekin three-quarters full with batter;
Place ramekins on baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes

Bake until center of cake is soft but not wet when pressed
about 27 to 30 minuts. Let cool 5 minutes.

Serve with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Caramel Sauce
In a medium saucepan , heat 1 cup sugar over medium-high heat until melted and slightly brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. With a heat resistant spatula, pull melted sugar toward center until all sugar is melted and caramel is a deep amber in color.
Imeediately whisk in 6 tablesppons cold unsalted butter cubed, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Take car as misture is extremely hot and will bubble.
Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream.
Pour into a heatproof containder and let cool.
(Can store, refrigerate up to 3 weeks).

All I can say is : AMAZING!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shrimp and Pine Nut Spaghetti

I am a huge fan of pine nuts! They are a great addition to so many dishes. I love to put them on the top of a nice salad. They are excellent in pesto. They can be added to so many side dishes like brussel sprouts or asparagus. This time pine nuts were added to pasta making this dish something special.

Shrimp and Pine Nut Spaghetti
from Cooking Light

8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
12 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add pasta; cook 7 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done and pasta is al dente. Drain; keep warm.

2. While pasta cooks, heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

3. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Place pan over medium heat; gradually stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk. Stir in mustard and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Stir in salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add drained pasta mixture, cheese, and chopped basil, tossing gently to combine. Sprinkle with nuts and torn basil.

Shrimp and Pine Nut Spaghetti: